RMS St Helena

RMS St Helena current position

RMS St Helena current location is at West Mediterranean (coordinates 39.17050 N / 9.09960 E) cruising en route to Cagliari. The AIS position was reported 7 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of RMS St Helena

Year of build1989  /  Age: 34
Flag state United Kingdom
BuilderA&P-Appledore International Ltd (Aberdeen, Scotland)
ClassRoyal Mail Ship / cargo passenger ship
Speed14 kn / 26 km/h / 16 mph
Length (LOA)105 m / 344 ft
Beam (width)19 m / 62 ft
Gross Tonnage6767 gt
Passengers128 - 156
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2012
OwnerSt Helena Line Ltd

RMS St Helena Review

Review of RMS St Helena

The 1989-built RMS Saint Helena ship is one of the world's last still operational "Royal Mail Ships" (RMS). The UK-flagged vessel (MMSI 232669000) is a unique cargo-passenger ship, specifically constructed (in Aberdeen Scotland) to supply St Helena Island UK. This remote island is located in the south Atlantic Ocean, approx 1200 mi (1900 km) off Africa's coast.

RMS St Helena ship

The ship departs once every 3 weeks from Cape Town South Africa, carrying passengers and supplies to Saint Helena Island before continuing to Ascension Island (to the north). Luxuries onboard are minimal. By the ship's schedule, passengers must stay on the island of St Helena for at least 8 nights. It’s obviously not for everyone but remains an itinerary ("cruise") unlike any other.

However, that is set to change soon, when Saint Helena Island gets its first international airport to offer direct flights from Britain and South Africa. This development saw the famous Royal Mail Ship retired and changed the island forever. According to the UK Government estimates, up to 30,000 visitors per year could visit Saint Helena Island once air links are established. Scheduled passenger flights to the St Helena Island started on October 14, 2017.

The voyage (originally intended as the RMS St Helena's last one) began on June 16, 2016, from the UK and ended on July 15 in Cape Town. As part of this farewell sailing, Royal Mail organised letter exchange with pupils from St Helena Island and Cardiff. However, due to airport's postponed opening, the ship's schedule was extended as an interim measure, running through July 2017.

Shipboard facilities

RMS St Helena is equipped to transport a wide range of cargo, including liquids, in order to meet the needs of St Helena Island's population. She also has berths for a total of 128 passengers and guest facilities, including lounges, shop, swimming pool. RMS St Helena also has an onboard doctor and well-equipped medical facilities. The capacity of the vessel was extended in 2012 by an additional 24 extra cabin berths and a gym.

The boat has 4 passenger decks (3 with cabins) and a total of 56 staterooms for 156 passengers (max capacity).

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On October 5, 2017, the shipowner St Helena Line Ltd announced that in February 2018 the St Helena ship will be withdrawn from service. The company appointed the London UK-based shipbroker CW Kellock (part of Eggar Forrester Group) to handle the vessel's sale.

The ship was built specifically for the "UK - St Helena Island" route. As cargo-passenger vessel, it had an original passenger capacity 126 (increased to 156 / 56 cabins during drydock refurbishment 2012), cargo capacity 3750 m3 bale, cargo/container capacity 92 TEUs (including 17 reefers / refrigerated containers). The ship was staffed with 56 crew and officers.

RMS St Helena was one of all 4 ships in operation with the right to carry the RMS ("Royal Mail Ship") prefix.

The ship's last ferry voyage from Saint Helena Island started on February 10 and ended in Cape Town (South Africa) on February 15, 2018. During its 1990-2017 service, the ship did a total of 268 crossings, ferrying all the island’s supplies and goods.